Details of Iran-5+1 negotiations in Geneva

December 19, 2010

TEHRAN – Some details of negotiations between the Iran and the 5+1 group (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) in Geneva on December 6-7 leaked to media.

Following is an excerpt of negotiations revealed:
In contrast to the last year’s talks between Iran and the 5+1 group in Geneva in which a freeze-for-freeze option (a halt to nuclear enrichment by Iran and a halt to Western sanctions on Iran) was raised, this time this option was not raised.
At the beginning of negotiations, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Iranian delegation was a guest of Europe and asked the Iranian side to start talks. In the previous negotiations, Javier Solana (Ashton’s predecessor) and representatives of the 5+1 initiated the talks and this gave an opportunity to the Iranian side to assess the views of the other side.
However, Jalili, the head of the Iranian negotiating team, cleverly counteracted and directed the meeting toward a trial of the West including its tacit support for terrorists and said the Security Council resolutions shows the address for terrorism. Jalili also said the approach adopted by the West in monopolization of science is a reminiscent of the Middle Age. Mrs. Ashton who had so far kept silent about terrorist acts in Tehran, was forced to condemn it and asked the chief Iranian negotiator to continue his talks.
Jalili cited a number of issues including disarmament, non-proliferation, and the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe as a violation of the NPT and the U.S. refusal to abide to resolutions to destroy chemical weapons in a way that the meeting was directed to a scene of Iran’s questions from the West.
Then Ashton asked what subjects are debatable that Jalili said if democracy is an important issue in the Middle Eastern region it is a good subject for discussion. Jalili also said nuclear issues, disarmament and nonproliferation are issues, on which Iran is ready to negotiate. He also cited Iran’s great potential for cooperation in economic areas including energy.
Then the representatives of the 5+1 group raised issues and when it was the turn of the British diplomat, Jeffry Adams, to speak, Ashton asked him to specifically talk about “regional issues” and he talked about cooperation in Afghanistan, campaign against drug trafficking, and piracy as well.
Then the German representative - who was among those four representatives who joined Iran-5+1 talks for the first time and did not know much about Iran’s nuclear issue - read a text which contained some allegations against Iran.
However, in the afternoon session Jalili presented documents based on the IAEA reports and letters proving that allegations by the German representatives were unsubstantiated.
The French representative also made remarks out of a diplomatic norm. The U.S. representative also made comments similar to official remarks issued by the White House. However, his remarks did not contain anything new. Like the previous negotiations, the Russian representative also called on Iran to accept the additional protocol to the NPT, which allows instant inspections. But the envoy from China took a position in favor of Iran despite Western pressure on Beijing and frequent visits to the country by U.S. officials in the last few months to change China’s view toward Iran.
In the next round of talks, Jalili cited some mistakes by the West and said in dealing with our country and other countries you (West) make obvious mistakes and after a while you found about your mistakes. For example, in Afghanistan you have reached a point that we had warned about it 10 years ago. Or you imagined that by the ratification of the 1929 Resolution you will force Iran to back down from its position. He added now Iran is planning to do the greatest economic surgery (the subsidy reform plan) and if the country was not in a stable condition and pressures on Iran had been effective it was not possible to implement such a great economic reform. He also said the West imposed gasoline sanctions on Iran but our country found an opportunity to become self-sufficient in producing gasoline. Iran’s chief negotiator added a major reason that the West makes mistakes is that it does not have proper information as exemplified by the German representative about Iran’s nuclear issue.
After remarks by Jalili almost all 5+1 representatives endorsed some statements by Jalili and said the West did not have a thorough understanding of the issues.
In the afternoon session Jalili elaborated on the IAEA reports about Iran’s nuclear activities for about 100 minutes, showing the hollowness of claims by the German diplomat and other mistakes by the West.
Since it was the first time that Ashton and four other representatives from the 5+1 group participated in talks and did not have enough information about the issues they made some gaffes like the ones made by the German envoy. On the other hand, the Iranian side by following a logical approach changed the direction of the talks in the favor of Tehran.